December 2009 Archives
Merseytravel chief executive Neil Scales has been named the 17th most influential person in UK public transport.
Could it be because Mr Scales, who runs Merseyside's transport authority, lives by the mantra of creating a "single integrated public transport system accessible to all"?
He was listed above the Sir Richard Branson, who owns Virgin Trains and appeared 21st in the list compiled by trade magazine New Transit.
Number one was Sir Moir Lockhead, chief executive of First Group followed by Brian Souter, co-founder and chief exec of Stagecoach.
I've written a fairly extensive piece on the changing face of Merseyside politics for today's Echo.
Read the full story HERE. The breakdown the key seats does not appear online, so here they are:
Lord Mayors race team for the triathalon, centre is present Lord Mayor Mike Storey who took on the swimming leg, Steve Rotherham (left) donned his runners shoes and keen cyclist Paul Clarke took to his bicycle.
As 2009 draws to a close it's time for the second annual Dale Street Blues Awards.
They are supposed to be a lighthearted look back over the year and should not be taken too seriously.
I've sat through countless planning meetings and watched councillors approve plans for supermarkets through gritted teeth.
The standard line is that we don't want to approve this but we have no choice.
And until now that really has been the case. Members of the public are often frustrated when they feel their concerns are not listened to, but the truth is planning committees do not have enough freedom. They are not really that free to make proper local decisions.
Conservative leader David Cameron is bringing one of his Cameron direct sessions to Merseyside next week.
On Thursday, January 7 at 6.30pm Cameron will be at a location in Aintree or Maghull to support Debi Jones campaign to win the Sefton Central seat.
I'll be taking a break for a few days but will be back next week with some lighthearted awards for Merseyside politicians.
In the meantime may you all have a very happy Christmas.
Thanks to Stuart at Feeling Listless for putting me onto this interview by Eddie Mair with former defence secretary John Hutton.
I heard the start of PM in which they trailed the fact he would be admitting to something, but missed the interview, so thanks for reminding me Stuart.
As has been pointed out this is a masterful interview by Mair in which he gently coaxes Hutton into admitting that he previously said that he thought Gordon Brown would be an "f***ing disaster" as Prime Minister.
The interview starts at the 16.18 minute marker and the conversation that leads to the admission starts at 24.12 point in the programme.
I suspect that an aggressive interview style might not have got as much out of Hutton. I always been of the view that you get more out of interviewees if you adopt a friendly style.
Anyway, if you've got time do listen to the whole of the interview, which is also wonderfully dissected by Nick Robinson HERE.
I meant to mention it the other day, the Conservatives cancelled their selection meeting to pick candidates for Liverpool seats.
It was supposed to be last week. I'm not sure why it was cancelled.
Anyway it is going to be mid-January before they decide their candidates.
Without wanting to seem overly harsh, it doesn't really matter who they pick in Liverpool. As I've said before barring complete disaster for Labour in the run up to the election the chances of them getting a seat are nil.
LABOUR have selected a candidate to fight the Wirral South seat which is being vacated by Ben Chapman.
Alison McGovern, 28, and deputy Labour leader in the London Borough of Southwark, who grew up in Bromborough has been selected from an all women shortlist.
She is currently the public affairs manager for the charity Creativity Culture & Education (CCE).
The seat is a key target for the Conservatives, who selected barrister Jeff Clarke in an open primary in January 2007.
Jamie Saddler will be running for the Liberal Democrats.
Cllr Jack Spriggs 1934 - 2009
"We cannot be sure who will get the advantage if we accept this offer. But if you continue with the occupation we will win ... We have a golden opportunity to lead Merseyside in a fight against big business. Their whole aim is to make money at the expense of the working class ... Merseyside is waiting for a lead. We have got to have the responsibility to take it ..."
- The Battle At Fisher Bendix, Malcolm Marks.